Marital violence in Barranquilla [Colombia]: prevalence and risk factors

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of violence against women of fertile age living in a couple and identify the personal, socioeconomic, and family function characteristics associated with this phenomenon. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study in a random sample of 275 women of fertile age living in the neighborhood of Carlos Meisel in Barranquilla, Colombia. Information was gathered through a structured questionnaire and face-to-face interviews at the participants' homes. The questionnaire was adapted from the World Health Organization's recommendations on ethics and safety when investigating domestic violence. The questionnaire included items on personal characteristics, habitual alcohol and drug consumption, family function test (Family Apgar), socioeconomic characteristics, and physical abuse in the 12 months prior to the interview. RESULTS: The prevalence of marital violence was 22.9%. Women aged 25-29 years old were the most commonly affected (33.3%). Factors associated with violence were habitual alcohol consumption in women (Odds ratio [OR] = 6.02; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.7-22.2) and in the spouse (OR = 10.11; 95% CI, 5.1-20.1) and drug consumption by the husband (OR = 11.01; 95% CI, 4.2-29.5). A monthly wage of less than 300,000 Colombian pesos (140 euros) was also significantly associated with domestic violence as was moderate or severe family dysfunction (respectively, OR = 16.9; 95% CI, 4.8-59.0; OR = 81.6; 95% CI, 18.8-335). CONCLUSIONS: Because this was a cross-sectional study, the results should be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, violence against women in the study sample was associated with potentially modifiable factors.




Tuesca, R., & Borda, M. (2003). Marital violence in Barranquilla [Colombia]: prevalence and risk factors. Gaceta Sanitaria / S.E.S.P.A.S, 17(4), 302–308.

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